Though the film "MSG-2: The Messenger", starring Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, has not been banned in Punjab like his debut movie, dera followers in Punjab will not get to see the film at many places across the state.
The film is being released in only a handful of cinema halls on Friday, with most cinema houses not willing to take the risk of screening the film in view of the call for its ban by various Sikh outfits.
No cinema in Bathinda, the hub of dera activities in Punjab with its state headquarters located at Salabatpura in the district, is planning to screen the movie. The film is not in the schedule of three of the multiplexes in the city for the next week. Single-screen theatres, waiting for the move from multiplexes, too are not keen on showing the film.
Movie posters have been pasted at single-screen theatre, Pukhraj, indicating that it might screen the film. The cinema managers, however, said only posters have been put up and they have no plans to showcase the film.
MSG-2 producer CP Arora said they have tied up with all major multiplexes, including PVR Cinema, Big Cinema, Satyam Cinema, Fun Cinema, for screening the movie. Dera spokesperson Aditya Insaan said the movie is being released like any other normal movie everywhere, including Punjab.
In Chandigarh, the film has the maximum shows - seven in a day. It is listed to be shown at PVR Elante Mall (two shows), Piccadily Square (four shows) and PVR Centra Mall (one show). There are no late-night shows of the film in the city. In Ludhiana, PVR Pavillion has only two shows of the film. In Jalandhar, the only show listed at Curo Street multiplex has been withdrawn. There is no show of the film in Amritsar, Patiala, Mohali and Sangrur.
Gurdev Singh, a member of the state-level committee of dera followers in Punjab, alleged that cinema houses were willing to screen the film but they were threatened by the district administration.